Now hang on one dang minute….

artistmainimage

http://www.myrocketscience.com/Client_TaylorHicks.html

Well, isn’t this interesting? According to the link above, Taylor’s release date for his new CD, “The Distance”, is not Feburary 10th, but actually March 10th, 2009. Please, please let it be a typo.

Contrary to popular belief, I actually want this CD to do really well. What I believe is this: that he led his fans to believe that he had a certain sound, something akin to Ray LaMontagne or Ray Charles. Instead, we received “Taylor Hicks”, and that CD was sorely lacking in the soul category. I’m really excited that he has great musicians backing him up, but he also had an award winning producer for his freshman major label debut. That didn’t go so well, so pardon me if I keep my fingers crossed.

By not going so well, I mean, that the sound that I was expecting wasn’t there. The “Taylor Hicks” CD was full of overproduced music, with underdeveloped lyrics. I don’t claim to be a conniseur of modern whomp, but I don’t think that was the sound he was going for. Hopefully, with a little extra time, and more writing of his own, the real Taylor Hicks can shine through on “The Distance”.

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42 Responses to “Now hang on one dang minute….”

  1. To a certain extent, Taylor hands were tied in the creation of the TH album. He was under extreme time constraints and was pretty much at the mercy of the label. It’s pretty clear now, he’s not a pop singer – never was, never will be. They certainly didn’t know how to market this bluesman correctly. The fact he sold as many CDs as he did, going Gold in 2 weeks and certified platinum was a monumental feat for Taylor.

    I’m convinced “The Distance” is Taylor’s new baby and boy is he proud of her. He has some unbelievable musicians and a producer that knows how to make a blues/soul record, proven by his track record with Michael McDonald, Eric Clapton and BB King. Not bad company for Taylor.

  2. I do agree with you that his hands were tied a bit. I mean, he’s never going to be top 40 radio material, and that’s ok. There are lots of very successful artists who aren’t. I just think that in terms of success, sometimes we need to not worry about what his record sales are, or how many times we’ve heard him played. The people that Taylor is playing to don’t seem to be people who listen to top 40 anyway. I just know with this new record is going to be the cries of the Soul Patrol, yelling to “call your radio stations, insist on Taylor being played”, and for him, I don’t think that’s his avenue to success. I have a feeling that he’s going to have to tour for the rest of his career. That’s what he does best. All those feelings that don’t get conveyed off of the record are clearly evident at one of his shows.

  3. I agree about the record sales…. I can’t remember who said it, but it’s so true – the amount sold will never tell me if the music is good or not. At the very least, I’m hoping that it makes enough for Taylor to keep touring and keep making and recording more music on his terms on his own label. But who knows tho, maybe it will be a critically acclaimed CD that will catch fire with the general population. I’m not going to assume it will or wont based on the last record.

    As far as radio play, hopefully he’ll get some on AAA radio or maybe country or whatever the genre is – hard to say at this point without hearing it.

  4. I just don’t see radio play as being integral to his career. Granted, I don’t know a lot about music, but I think word of mouth can sometimes be just as powerful. Most of my favorite performers are ones I’ve never heard on the radio, but found through friends, or by listening to sites like Pandora. com. I just wonder if maybe more focus should be made online these days. Obviously, that’s where a lot of people are.

  5. If Taylor gets no radio airplay, the only people buying his CD will be the Soul Patrol. The Soul Patrol is not a big enough group of people to sustain his music career. Taylor has lost lots of fans and that’s partly his fault and partly his fans fault. Taylor should have done whatever to took to hold on to people and he didn’t do it.

    How will people buy his music if it’s not heard? If he does a video and it gets played on VH1, that would be excellent exposure for him and that will certainly help him get played. The music must be good and be the type of music that appeals to all ages, but that won’t matter a hill of beans if the music is not marketed.

  6. Heeeey, you forgot about the genius marketing plan that is Grease.

    *rolls eyes*

  7. And I really think there are other ways to market. But like I said, it’s just my opinion. I don’t know alot about advertising, either.

  8. The Grease audience is a drop in the bucket and that’s if they have any interest in his type of music in the first place, because trust me, plenty of people don’t like blues/soul. Where are all those fans he was supposed to have made while on Broadway?

  9. I didn’t think he made any fans while on Broadway. I’m pretty sure Early Works isn’t flying off the merchandise table. Well, maybe, if Bill Will is buying copies. πŸ™‚

  10. And the real question is: is this a typo? Or is the release really going to be put off a month?

  11. Snowstorm – I think Taylor’s new music will bring in new fans away from Idol and away from the SP based on word of mouth and the media he will be doing at the time of release. He already said he’d be doing lots of TV and we know he does lots of media in every city Grease hits. That coupled with this club tour will surely garner media attention – I don’t think he’ll ever have a problem getting media attention when he wants it. He IS the AI winner and that counts for a lot these days.

    How does Marc Broussard make a living? It’s not like he gets played on the radio either – and he doesn’t have the AI title to open doors. I honestly don’t think Taylor will ever again have a problem playing and filling up venues or getting roles on Broadway or whatever avenue he chooses.

  12. sallyannlady Says:

    I heard it’s the DVD “Whomp at the Warfield” that has been moved back to March, but that may have been a typo (I hope- it’s been long enough coming out). The CD is still scheduled for Feb, unless something else has changed.

  13. The DVD has been moved back again? What is the problem now?

    This is the part of Taylor Hicks that infuriates me. Don’t say you’re going to do it until you know for sure. Now, I understand that there can be unforseen factors, but with every single thing you make? It sounds to me like Taylor needs to keep quiet with his plans until they are official. That’s the part that makes him look like an amateur, and I hate that for him.

    Thanks for posting, Sallyannlady. πŸ™‚

  14. IAG, true it’s getting real old how certain ‘products’ of his keep getting pushed back. That DVD has been playing like a Duncan Flying Squirrel – back and forth – here it comes, there it goes. ha. Could be several reasons for this including fear it just won’t move.

    That web site is the first I’ve seen with the CD put on releasing in March. Hopefully that is a typo on their part as he’s not issued any statement other than the original Feb. 10th. If the date changes come out without his first bringing up the matter and fans find out through web sites, that creates a certain disenchantment. This CD needs be marketed with care and great tenderness to his fans, delivered with a personal feel and so far he’s doing that – so I hope too this just a site error.

    As far as “Grease” I approve how he’s working this situation. πŸ˜›

  15. I have no idea how Marc Broussard makes a living. As a matter of fact, I am not familiar with him and have never heard his music. It’s obvious Marc Broussard is not mainstream. But, wasn’t the point to go on AI is to be a superstar and a way to open doors? I’m not putting Taylor down, in fact, I want his next CD to be a success, but I am also realistic. His type of music is not popular and if the general public does not buy, his tours will be small, probably only touring regionally, and perhaps the NE. I personally believe his future will most likely be Broadway and acting and not music. I guess time will tell if I’m right. So far, I’ve been right about everything.

  16. Virtual Speak Says:

    How does Marc Broussard make a living? It’s all about paying it forward.

    Marc was fortunate enough to sell his song “Home” to the HBO series “The Sopranos” and it was featured in the closing of an episode. That show was wildly popular, and people clamored to find out who he was. Word of mouth.

    Why is Taylor always compared to Marc Broussard and Ray LaMontagne?

    Ray LaMontagne should kiss Taylor’s ass. He’s another case of Taylor sang his song on Idol, and it made him popular. The guy turns around and shit talks Taylor in an interview.

    Taylor needs the same thing to happen. He should try to shop whatever could be commercially successsful to a TV show, a movie or have another artist cover one his new songs on Idol or the like. This CD is crucial to his career. It’s make or break time.

    The release date for Taylor’s CD isn’t really that important. He needs to makes sure it’s mixed and edited exactly the way he wants it. If he puts out an overproduced rush job again, it could be disastrous . Contrary to popular belief, I also want his CD to be a success. I want to see him do well.

    The new CD cover evokes the metamorphosis of goofball American Idol Winner (which, I disagree griz.. carries no weight.. or means nothing) to a guy that’s had enough and isn’t going to take anymore. “The Distance” is really a good name for the CD. We all know some of what he’s gone through over the past 2 1/2 years. It’s personal enough, yet leaves a bit of mystique.

  17. Snowstorm – AI opened a lot of doors for Taylor. He wouldn’t be starring in Grease on Broadway or in this touring company, he wouldn’t be playing with Eric Clapton’s tour band, he wouldn’t have authored a book, started his own record company, toured across the country last year, gone to Italy, France or Asia or anything else great that he’s accomplished in the last couple of years. Sorry, but not every one can be a multi-million CD seller. Marc Broussard or Ray LaMontaigne or Susan Tedeschi – respected artists who do their thing.

    You seem really into doom and gloom and I’m not sure why. He’s right where he wants to be with ownership of his music, total creativity, control of his career and things are really great!! He’s got a CD coming out in 8 weeks, the DVD, the Grease tour and his own tour after that. We have clubs dates to look forward to and his management seems like they are doing right by him this time.

    If you are as ‘realistic’ as you say, you’d understand that success is measured a lot of different ways by many different people, and one size doesn’t fit all. Lower expectations and you might be able to enjoy the music more πŸ˜‰

  18. I agree with you, Griz. American Idol has certainly opened doors for Taylor, but the fact remains that his AI peers have completely outdone Taylor. Anybody who says that the music business is not a competition is wrong. As a matter of fact, everything in life is a competition. It’s a dog eat dog world. It’s always been like that – ALWAYS, especially the music business.

  19. I guess we’ll have to disagree, Snowstorm. I think Taylor is doing *just fine* and way better than most from AI. If you hear that Eric Clapton’s touring band is backing Carrie Underwood’s next album, come let me know and I’ll take a listen πŸ˜‰

  20. Well, fortunately for Carrie Underwood, she doesn’t need Eric Clapton’s touring band, lol.

    C’mon now Griz, you can’t be serious with comments like that. It’s one thing to be a cheerleader, but to have a distorted view of reality is not a good thing.

  21. Virtual Speak Says:

    Griz-

    Forgive me for my diatribe.. but.. why is Snowstorm’s opinion being called “gloom and doom?” Telling him/her to lower their expectations is a virtual velvet tongued back handed thing to say.

    Maybe the same could be said to you. Lower the bar on music you haven’t even heard yet and get the Taylor you have built up in your head out for a minute, sit back and suck in some reality.

    How do you know Taylor is doing just fine? Did he tell you? Carrie Underwood has won zillion Grammy’s without the help of Eric Clapton’s touring band. So, when Taylor gets one, come let us know.

    You’re borderline trolling because we dare say something about Taylor that doesn’t portray him as a choir boy.

    Come to think of it.. I took another look at that CD cover.. it appears he’s selling his GQ sex appeal. He knows he’s eye candy.. why not use it to his benefit?

  22. Snowstorm & Virtual Speak – maybe you two should find a musician that can meet your expectations better than Taylor can. Your angst about him is really a downer for a fan like me, so I’m going to just let you guys to commiserate with yourselves and bow out of this discussion.

    And thanks for the discussion It’s All Grey. See ya ’round!

  23. That’s exactly what he’s doing…he’s selling GQ sex appeal. Hey, you gotta do whatever it takes to sell CDs. The majority of women just like him for his looks and really could care less about music.. that’s a pretty obvious fact. But, in the end it’s the music (and image) that sells.

  24. Virtual Speak Says:

    Griz –

    Please don’t try to be the Queen of the SP. The position has already been filled several times over. The de-crowning, when it happens, is just ugly. Besides, the hours are long and the pay sucks. Thankless I tell ya.. thankless.

    Maybe you can show me exactly where I was angsty about Taylor? Can you believe, I’m actually a fan? A fan with an opinion. Because you don’t like it, you bow out? What exactly is wrong with being a fan that has no grand illusions?

    I’m really not arguing with you. Just trying to understand why you feel you have to defend Taylor or tell people to find another musician that meet our expectations… because our expectations don’t fit into your Taylor mold?

    I actually have no expectations other than the opinion that he needs to do things differently this time around. He cannot sustain a career on just the SP he has now. He’s said he’s going to reinvent himself. Hope he does.

    I really and truly hope this CD turns gold and he sells a trillion copies.

  25. Virtual Speak Says:

    Of course he is Snowstorm. Soul Music is 90% about sex and sex appeal. The women that claim to be all “all about the music.” are full of crap. Look at him. He’s doing exactly what soul music is all about. He’s marketing his music and his image.

    The ceasar haircut- The whole new sweater and scarf look with the 3/4 length winter coats didn’t happen on accident. He knows exactly what women want.

  26. No, that is not angst. It’s what you call facing reality. Just that fact that he chose to go on Broadway is very telling to me. A serious, true musician does not take that route and certainly not “teen angel”. Only after a musician has had success in music, then they try other things in show business, but Taylor has had no success in music.

  27. Hey, I’m a big fan of angst myself. I really am enjoying this discussion and I am glad that everybody is mature enough to have one.

    Griz, your opinion is welcome here, too..but I’m going to have to agree with VS on this one. I really think that it’s unfortunate that his choice of music is something that is not market friendly. Although it won’t happen, pop and/or country singers seem to have an easier time of winning over the media.

    Snowstorm, I agree with you. That’s the part about Grease that I do not like. If he were established in the music industry, then whatever. But I just see alot of people not taking him seriously now, because he is the Teen Angel.

  28. Virtual Speak Says:

    With the release of his “Taylor Hicks” album, I was a bit miffed to hear most of it. Where was the soul? The passion? The potential?

    There were a few songs on it that had the possibilty of being mainstream, sadly, it didn’t happen for him.

    But, if someone would have told me a year ago that Taylor would star as the Teen Angel- I probably would have laughed in their faces. I will give him credit for taking the crappiest role and spinning it into a show-stopper.

    I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason. Although, his reasonings weren’t clear to his fans as to why he took this role to begin with….

    When he finally announced that he would be doing his single as himself at the Grease show- it became apparent, that it was an “ah ha” moment for many of us. Myself included.

    If this marketing plan works, and I hope it does…

    He stands the chance of becoming the innovative one that cleared the path to the Great White Way and will have made it okay for other artists who haven’t quite found their way to stardom yet, to follow his same marketing plan. Because once something is done successfully, it’s copied over and over.

    It’s a huge gamble. I hope it works.

  29. That is a huge gamble, and an insane one to take this soon into the game. He may have been playing music for ten years before AI, but he’s in the big leagues now. I’m with you, I really hope it works, but I’m not holding my breath.

    I would love to hear some of that new music, though.

  30. Broussard makes money by touring. He’s pretty popular in the alt country world. He gets video airplay on the the country channels. Rumor is Taylor is going to go the alt country/americana route. I think he’ll gain new fans if he does.

    I don’t think the touring Grease gig does him any favors. It reinforces the image of “that goofy gray-haired guy from American Idol”. But if it works for him, good for him.

  31. “but he also had an award winning producer for his freshman major label debut.”

    And Clive Davis up his “you know what”!

  32. I’ll give you that, TMW. But didn’t all of the other AI winners have the same problem? And even the ones that didn’t win? I don’t think we can place the entire sadness that is Taylor’s first CD on the shoulders of Clive, can we?

    I can see where you’re coming from though..and I appreciate your point of view.

  33. He stands the chance of becoming the innovative one that cleared the path to the Great White Way and will have made it okay for other artists who haven’t quite found their way to stardom yet, to follow his same marketing plan. Because once something is done successfully, it’s copied over and over.

    It’s a huge gamble. I hope it works.
    ***************
    Wow, VS … I really had never looked at “Grease” from this angle before, just as another revenue vehicle for Taylor to finance his music. Your interpretation makes sense though, and it IS a huge gamble. If he fails, it may label him as a “performer” vs “musician”, even though that’s what he’s always billed himself as, ie. “I’m a working musician”. The scary part for Taylor might be that it already HAS given him that label… I guess we’ll have to see how the new CD sells to determine if he’s better at gambling his image than he is at craps.

  34. “He knows exactly what women want.”
    Not this woman. ha. I like the scruffy jeans and t-shirt guy myself, with that shadow goatee he had for such a short time. 😦

    Regarding what Mr. Hicks wants to be labeled, he’s said it numerous times – as an ‘entertainer’. That involves wearing many hats.

    The guy did an improbable thing in winning that reality contest; this “Grease” gig smacks of something similar in his bid to break ground in marketing. I’m hoping Lady Luck smiles on him.

  35. Mmmm…the shadow goatee. Such a fleeting fad for him. Too bad, though. It looked really good.

  36. I see that Taylor has improved a lot in his wardrobe selection. In the beginning, I remember he always wore suit jackets and white shirts, and thought he looked very dated, so I’m glad he’s branched out more with his clothing, but I think he got some help from a stylist. The “scarf” look is very fashionable on both men and women, so that’s a big plus. I’m also a big fan of the scruffy look – jeans, t-shirt and the unshaven look, works for me.

  37. Just my opinion Says:

    β€œbut he also had an award winning producer for his freshman major label debut.”

    Matt Serletic has been called several times before on his tendency to overproduce. Just because he is an “award winning producer”, doesn’t mean he’s a good fit for every artist.

  38. Virtual Speak Says:

    When he was rocking the Huey Lewis gear, it worked for awhile, but, I bet he did get a stylist to help him out with his latest “look” Nothing wrong with reinvention. He looks better than he’s ever looked with the new GQ style.

  39. Just my opinion:

    Why do you think the powers that be would let a producer with that reputation produce an album for someone like Taylor? Someone who’s best work has been simple and direct.

  40. VS…I’ll take Taylor how ever he wants to dress. The only time I cringe is when he wears clothes that are too small, but he hasn’t done that with Idol, well, not in public anyway. ahhaha

  41. […] how did I know this was going to happen? As I stated in my previous post, Now Hang on a Dang Minute, I was hoping that the release date for “The Distance” of March 10th was a typo. Well, […]

  42. Griz, None of your posts here surprise me. I guess I missed the memo where Taylor appointed you his guardian of good will. Being a fan doesn’t require a 24/7 worship of any musician and it isn’t fair to put that kind of responsiblity on any fan or on the musician themselves. And him touring with Eric Clapton’s band doesn’t impress me. The band he used on his last tours were outstanding and did the job right. I don’t give a s*** if he uses Bill Will as his only band member…if the material is good then it doesn’t matter who he shares the stage with.

    Just enjoy the music, Taylor’s talent and forget about that other shit.

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